On Friday, we launched the inaugural Australia-China High-Level Security Dialogue, with Secretary Meng Jianzhu, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs. Prime Minister Turnbull announced the new dialogue with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Australia in March.

This annual dialogue is an important new plank in our bilateral architecture with China. It provides a regular mechanism to discuss security issues of priority to both sides, including: cyber security, transnational crime, legal and judicial cooperation.

The Dialogue’s outcomes are contained in a Joint Statement. Australia and China agreed to strengthen pragmatic cooperation under the criminal justice framework, and improve its efficiency. Australia reaffirmed its commitment to pursue ratification of the bilateral extradition treaty.

On cyber issues, Australia and China agreed that neither country would conduct or support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets or confidential business information with the intent of obtaining competitive advantage. The two countries also agreed to establish a mechanism to discuss cybersecurity and cybercrime issues.

On fighting terrorism, Australia and China agreed that the new High-Level Security Dialogue will complement the cooperation under the bilateral Counter-Terrorism Dialogue and the Australia-China ministerial level mechanism to fight transnational crime and counter terrorism. We agreed to enhance cooperation to fight transnational crime and terrorism, including by enhancing the exchange of information and intelligence.

The dialogue reaffirmed the strong law enforcement relationship between Australia and China, including agreement to continue the successful Australian Federal Police and Ministry of Public Security joint Taskforce Blaze. Since 2015, this taskforce has led the seizure of approximately 8.5 tonnes of crystal methamphetamine, other drugs and precursors, and is the first taskforce based in China established between Chinese law enforcement and an international law enforcement partner.

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